Continuing this voyage of weird corners of the Magic design, we come to Grizzly Bears, but I’m limiting this to a very specific subgroup of blue.
Why blue? Because it’s the only color that hasn’t received a true Grizzly Bear yet, meaning a 2/2 vanilla creature with a casting cost of 1U.
There’s a total of 204 2/2 creatures with a casting cost of 1C (including Un-Cards). Each other color has some of them and has even creatures that are strictly better than that. It took a while for black and red to get to that point, but here we are and now they aren’t even interesting any more. But blue is still making it’s way towards that goal and I’m not sure it will ever reach it. (Although it should be noted that in order to be truly strictly worse or better than something, the cards should be of the same color.)
Blue only has ten Grizzly Bears throughout the history of the game, and I’m going to leave out the Un-Card, which leaves us with nine total, meaning that they are quite rare.
Swithing power and toughness isn’t something that happens a lot in Magic. Usually, because it’s hard to find cards where it’s interesting. Of course, there have been cases in which it was done simply for the sake of doing it, but it was quickly found out those cards didn’t do much for the game as they are quite situational, so the newer iterations were either pushed or R&D tried to do something more interesting with them.
We saw the first knights in Alpha. White Knight was a strong and efficient card by the standards of those days and still is for an uncommon. But there was also it’s dark counterpart, the Black Knight. A flavor-win certainly, except that of course they could never actually fight due to their Protection abilities. Both saw some tournament play (I certainly played with both back in the day) and both have seen a number of reprints. White and black have also been pitted against each other in a similar way quite a few more times, often through knights.
This is specifically for white and black. There are other similar mirrors in white and red, but we’ll forget about those. Since the mirrors don’t sometimes come to be in the same set, I’ve placed these mirrors where the latter part was first printed. White has plenty more knights than this, but we are specifically interested in these pairs here. Black has some other ones as well, especially in Ixalan, but again, not interested in those.
Each color has its distinctive features and one of the features for green is its ability to ramp. Sure, all colors can produce extra mana in some way or another, but green is definitely the master of this, having several ways of doing it in most sets.
However, since I don’t want to go through all the ways green can do this (mana elves, doubling effects), I’m limiting this to noncreature cards that put lands into play from your library and are green (there are some white and colorless ones that do this as well). I’ll probably do a separate one on creatures at some point. I’ll also omit all the spells, that don’t actually add lands, but rather change the ones you already have into different ones, like Scapeshift which could be used to produce more mana in many ways, but generally isn’t.
This is up until Ixalan.
Its dog week on the blog, so after considering what to write about for a while, I decided to go with one of these. The problem is, dogs or hounds haven’t actually been that big of a deal in the history of the game, although there definitely are some strong cards here, although they might not seem that way immediately.
Fact or Fiction is very strong. It dominated during its time in Standard (or Type 2), while still being a favorite in Commander, Conspiracy, Vintage Masters and Eternal Masters. It made its way into FTV20 as well, which was a collection of 20 cards that had dominated tournaments during each of the first 20 years of Magic’s history and its in pretty good company. Its very popular, but hasn’t been reprinted in Modern, but it has a few cousins.
Since the early days of the game, black has been secondary with cards with blue being the king. Still, while blue’s history with this is all about changing costs and not much more, black has a more detailed history, which gives us clues into how WotC views different resources and their values.
The benchmark these days seems to be Read the Bones, which is quite strong, seeing plenty of Standard play. But how did we get there?
Hello, all. I’m not sure how much I’ll be doing this, but this idea just came to me while lying in my bed, reading a book on education theory at around one o’clock at night. Weird how we people come up with stuff. Any how, I thought how interesting would it be to see how certain types of cards (say, rats, black removal, knights, ramp spells, counters) have evolved over the years. Magic has been around for a long while now, so there must be interesting things here.
In the interest of doing something quite general at first, I decided to go with something quite ubiquitous. And since MagicCards.info tells me there’s 59 red cards with X in the casting cost, many of which are not related to this article, his might actually be a manageable enough place to start.
First, what do I mean ‘Fireballs’? Well, all the descendants of this:
Its kind of iconic and has been around since the beginning, although they’ve tried out a lot of different things with these things over the years. I’m limiting this to spells that can deal damage to both players and creatures, but it has to target, so no Earthquake or Molten Disaster here, just for the sake of limiting this to something I can sift through in a limited amount of time.